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HMS Winchelsea by cdrusn89 - 1/48th

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So I finished the USF Confederacy from Model Shipways and have room in my ship model cabinet for one more model but it has to be "Admiralty" size (i.e. less than 14" high). So not wanting to pay for all the masts and rigging I decided to try my hand at Winchelsea. I spent the last few days cleaning up the workshop and getting ready to start although I will  not get too far as we leave for three weeks the end of the month. So here we go.


I spent a good deal of time on the build board as suggested in Chuck's monograph. I used this same build board for the initial stages of Confederacy construction so I thought it would work here as well. As it turned out all (or almost all) of the "fittings" that I made to hold the center keel are too wide to fit between the bulkheads here since there are markedly more than is usual in a POB model. So I made ten new, 3/4" wide ones. Hopefully they will work out but "no plan survives first contact with the enemy".


Here is the build board with the center keel and bulkheads. I would point out that there where several instances where the laser cutter did not go all the way through the plywood and I had to cut through the last layer by hand (besides removing the usual "tabs"). I lost a layer of plywood on the bulkhead extensions on three of the bulkheads but do not think that will present a problem. I noticed that the center keel fits together with the center section upside down relative to the front and back - you can see the laser marks on the center section but not on the front and back. I assume this is to take advantage of the slightly offset angle that the laser cuts at (rather than completely perpendicular to the wood surface). This way should produce a tighter fit than having them all with the same side up.



Since the keel/bulkheads are not the first step I also laid out the pieces of the stem (I bought the Chapter 1 wood package in Yellow Cedar) on the workbench adjacent to the build board.


And now let the fun begin!!



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Welcome to the project!!!  Yes the center is flipped for that exact reason.   The same concept is used throughout the model.  This includes the stem parts you are about to assemble. 


Losing some ply wont matter that much although it may make them weaker.  You may have to reinforce them at some point or just be very careful.


Have fun with the project.

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The keel is laid - well not really the keel but the first pieces of the stem have been glued together. The seams look really tight without doing anything to the pieces, at least so far.


I have convinced my girlfriend that using the granite countertop as the base for gluing the center keel together will not be a problem and it only needs to dry overnight so it will  not get in the way of breakfast. Maybe it would have been easier to just go buy a sheet of glass 3' X 1' but where is the adventure in that?




Edited by cdrusn89
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Thanks guys.


I assembled the stem pieces as shown above and then thought that maybe it might be a better idea to do the tapering and char removal (where required) with the smaller pieces before gluing the entire stem assembly together. I don't know about everyone but that assembly looks pretty fragile, even out of 1/4" material to me.


So I did the tapering and easing of the edges and char removal on the part that contains the bobstay piece. I started by marking the edge (after careful removal of the char) 1/16" in from each side. I used a 1/32" X 1/8" batten laid on the stem piece and centered to mark the line to which the piece needed to be thinned. Here it is after I started thinning.


I continued thinning and removing the char from the outboard edges. Here is what it looks like after thinning, easing and char removal.

I did most of the thinning with 180 grit paper and then followed with 220 grit. I will go over the completed stem assembly with 320 grit before applying the WoP.









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I turned the center keel upside down and moved it so the bow was off the end on the right so I could add the breading line strip. Once I got the correct size strip (5/32 X 1/16) everything went "according to plan". Here is the center keel with all the breading line strip added. Per the instructions I did it in three sections plus the stern post.


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I finished the assembly of the stem.


Once I had the all the pieces assembled it turned out my apprehension about the fragility of the assembly was for nothing. With all the pieces in place the assembly appears very capable of having the tapering and char removal done after assembly. Hopefully it does not make a difference in which order the steps are accomplished.


Here is the stem after 320 grit sanding and a wipe down with paint thinner. WoP is next.




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Thanks Rusty and Oldsalt.


I put the first coat of WoP with the stem detached. A preliminary fitting shows that I will need to "adjust" the stem both top and bottom to get a satisfactory fit. I will put a second coat of WoP (not on the mating surface) before I start the "fitting" process.

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You really should taper the stem more.   Not just the front 1/4".   This should be a gradual taper from the aft end of  the stem.  It should be flat and straight so it doesnt look like a curved rounded front end for the stem.   There is still plenty of time to correct that.  What you have now is more of a rounded bevel than a taper.  Its unlikely your figurehead will sit on the stem properly as it stands now.



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While I was adjusting the stem to fit the center keel and remembering Chuck's example of having to make the figurehead too squat if the stem is too wide I decided, since I have the resin figurehead already) to see if I had tapered the stem enough. Good thing as I was a good deal too wide. I probably could have recovered by widening the resin figurehead but since I was only one coat of WoP into finishing the stem I should probably make the adjustment on the stem.


So here is the stem with figurehead "aboard".


And I came to this realization before I saw Chuck's note above. Sometimes "great minds, etc., etc."



Edited by cdrusn89
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After reading Chuck's note above I went back and did some more sanding to try and get the taper rather than rounded look. Not sure I am there yet.


How far down the stem does the taper extend? all the way to the waterline? Lower?


Here is what it looks like now.




Edited by cdrusn89
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I thinned down the stem piece even more after I took the pictures above.


Assuming that if more thinning is required I can do it with the stem attached to the center keel I decided to attach the stem and keel pieces to the hull.


Here is the center keel with the stem and keel attached drying on the build board.IMG_2571.thumb.jpeg.26bc5a054ba845620a7b3ee6abee1aa4.jpeg

Did I mention you can never have too many clamps.

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I got the keel attached without too  much drama and this morning added the simulated bolts on both sides.


Then I got to thinking about the keel/rabbet strip interface. While the bulkheads are being added I think there could be the potential for some substantial stresses on this junction and since it is only 5/32" wide it might be better (for me) to have some additional reinforcement of this joint. So I drilled three holes through each keel section using a #56 drill bit. I went about 1 1/4" inches deep so I should have about 1" into the center bulkhead. I cut some .047" music wire and hammered a piece into each hole. I used a countersink to get the wire just below the keel surface. I was not too worried about denting the keel surface since it will be covered by the false keel.


Anyway after I got all the wires hammered in I put a drop of thin CA on each wire. Probably overkill since I had to hammer to wire into the center bulkhead. Hopefully I will sleep better now knowing that it will take some pretty serious force to get the keel off the center bulkhead.


The next thing I am considering is drilling the holes for the mounting pedestals. I did this on Confederacy at this point and almost forgot that I had done it (senior moment). I drilled these holes freehand, for the mounting holes I need a better system for making sure they are straight.  But I need the false keel installed before we get to that.


Here are some of the wires before they were "pounded home". You can also see one set of the simulated bolts. I used a #76 hole and 26 lb line (Chuck used #77 and 15 lb line) because that is what I have - 450 meters of it. Should last a lifetime of model building.




Edited by cdrusn89
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So I drilled two holes in the underside of the center keel assembly using the "big" drill press in the garage. I used a #32 drill which by my calculations and measurements should the correct pilot hole for a #6 wood screw.


So with that done it is time to mount the center keel for serious bulkhead installation work. I had to widen the "tracks" that hold the keel on the center of the build board since this keel is just slightly wider than 1/4" even after sanding it to remove the laser char on the sides. I used all five of the vertical supports and put a C-clamp on top just to sure they have a good grip on the center keel.


Here is how it looks with the first bulkhead dry fit- I started from the bow for no good reason.


When I looked at the bottom of  bulkhead W I found that it extended significantly over the rabbet joint. So I will have to trim the ends of this one before it gets glued in. Here is what I found. - Port side


Starboard side


So I trimmed the ends of the bulkhead back to clear the rabbet joint. Likely even more of this bulkhead will be faired away but I want to protect the stem from that process as much as I can so trimming this, at least this far,  now makes good sense (IMHO).  Here is the "corrected port side.


And with that completed it is time for the glue. Here is bulkhead W (with the letter on the forward side as directed) "glued and trued"(hopefully.









Edited by cdrusn89
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Thanks Oldsalt,


Plus I can do two bulkheads at once. I just did "S" so I will move to #3 and #5 and move from there.


I will have to figure out some way to true up "O" since there will not be enough room to use any of the machinist blocks I have in the 3/4" wide space between bulkheads.

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As I mentioned previously I had to complete the laser cuts on several of the bulkheads. In the process the bulkheads "shed" some pieces of the outer ply of the plywood in a few places. I probably should have "fixed" this before installing the offending bulkheads but...


Anyway here is what the "ply loss" looks like. This is bulkhead M.


I cut a short piece of 1/32" by 5/16" yellow cedar and am gluing it onto the bulkhead. I will have to trim it back to the bulkhead dimensions after it dries.


And speaking of bulkheads - we are complete, including the bow fillers, just waiting for the last set of glue to dry.


Tomorrow my new set of 1.5" binders clips are supposed to arrive so I will have to wait until they get here to start fairing. I am also planning on getting some of "L" brackets that Chuck shows in the instructions to support those really "tender" bulkhead extensions at the stern.




The odd small clips are supporting additional ply layer repairs.

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This may the last post for a few days as I have all the bulkheads installed and it is time for fairing the hull.


Being a belt and suspenders kinda guy, after the Titebond was completely set I ran a bead of medium CA using a small paint brush down both sides of each seam just to make sure they were bonded together. I put masking tape over the keel and stem to (hopefully) keep them safe from marauding sanding blocks.


I turned the model over and added some spacers to keep the bulkhead extensions off the build board. At least through the lower hull fairing this will be its position. When I get it to my liking I will turn it over, add the binder clips on the bulkhead extensions and fair the upper hull. I also moved the build board over to my woodworking bench where I can easily get access to both sides and the build board is clamped onto the bench so it won't move either.



Edited by cdrusn89
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I got starboard side faired, at least the first pass. I cut some 3/64 X 1/4" and 3/64 X 3/32" yellow cedar from some sheets I had to serve as battens for the fairing.the hull. I used the 3/32" ones at the bow and the 1/4" elsewhere.  As it says in the instructions there is quite a bit on material to remove from the bow fillers and first couple of bulkheads.

Here is how it looks at this point.



I was not satisfied with the support of the hull the way I had it so I created some supports from balsa wood left over from the Endeavour (where all the space between the bulkheads was filled with balsa). I cut grooves for the center bulkhead and three or four bulkheads then glued a spacer on that with grooves to fit over the track that holds the keel when upright.


The goal was to have the hull supported at three points and stabilized side to side with the building board clamps. 


Here are the three blocks. The black shims on the midships one are to press the support up against the hull. As you might expect the hull has sheer both for and aft so unless I was smart enough to incorporate the different heights into the support blocks (I wasn't) that shims would be necessary.











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So I finished the fairing, at least I thought so.


While checking the lay with a 3/64" X 1/4" piece (general size of the planking) I found that I had been a little over zealous on bulkhead U (second one from bow) on the port side. You can see the gap between the batten and the bulkhead below. And there is a small gap at bulkhead W but I think that may disappear if bulkhead U is fixed first.


Here is where the batten is located for reference.


So I glued a piece of basswood (make sanding easier) 3/32" X 1/4" to the top portion of the bulkhead (mostly the bulkhead extension) and will CAREFULLY adjust this to get a better fit at bulkhead U. Then we will see how W, looks.


I checked the starboard side and it appears I was not as zealous there.


And here is the faired (more or less) hull. I have checked the other areas with the batten and the port side forward appears to be the only issue. Not sure how that happened but....


Edited by cdrusn89
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